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Each year we receive an allocation, or quota, of fish that we are allowed to catch.

First published:
12 February 2019
Last updated:

As part of the UK delegation, we attend the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Brussels. We discuss and negotiate with other EU interested parties about fishing quotas.  The EU Council agrees the total amount of fish to be taken for the year. Each member state receives a fixed percent of that total. This percentage is called the ‘relative stability’ key. 

Total allowable catch

The UK’s share of the “total allowable catch” is divided between the 4 UK Fisheries Administrations. This division is based on a historic formula.

Fixed Quota Allocation

We apportion quota within the UK fishing industry using fixed quota allocation units. This allocation of quota:

  • is held per vessel
  • allows the holder to catch their share of the quota for fishing stock
  • is not given to vessels under 10m
  • follows various adjustments applied by the Fisheries Administrations

We cannot fix the quota allocation from year to year because it depends on:

  • the amount of quota allocated to the UK for that year
  • any adjustments applied by the Fisheries Administrations to ensure sustainability of stocks

Once the quota has been allocated, there is an amount left over. This forms the ‘pool’ against which the under-10m vessel fleet can fish. Again, this pool is split between the four UK Fisheries Administrations, as set out in the UK Fisheries Concordat of 2012.